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  • 2023 Christmas Offering

    Dear Members and Friends of First Congregational Church,

    How blessed we are during this holiday season to gather in such a beautiful, warm, and brightly lit church or from the comfort of our own homes through the gift of technology. To help bring some of that warmth and comfort to those less fortunate, the Outreach team has designated this year’s Christmas offering to go to The Outdoor Church in Cambridge.

    Founded in 2003, The Outdoor Church holds service every Sunday morning at 9 a.m. in Porter Square. Despite rain or cold or snow, the long-running weekly service is held year round in front of the T Station. The Outdoor Church brings support and a message of unconditional love to the 550 homeless people living in and around Cambridge.

    In addition to Sunday service, The Outdoor Church runs a street outreach ministry—walking the same routes several times a week handing out sandwiches, juice boxes, socks, snacks, and toiletries. They also provide pastoral visits to soup kitchens, shelters, prisons, hospitals, and other institutions. Ministers and volunteers provide wristbands embossed with contact information so social workers, nurses, and chaplains can reach out in case of an emergency. Memorial services are also provided through The Outdoor Church, giving community members the chance to properly mourn losses, which are all too often surrounded by tragic circumstances.

    There are many opportunities to help support The Outdoor Church, from attending Sunday service to making and/or handing out sandwiches to hosting a sock drive. Without volunteerism and the support of some 40 local churches of different denominations, The Outdoor Church could not deliver supplies and ministry each week with the consistency that has become the hallmark of this Cambridge institution.

    And so, we invite you to give generously this season as we remember our homeless and street-involved neighbors and remember too, that church is not a place but a people: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:20).

    Your Outreach Ministry: Laura Bailey, Sarah Girotti, Betsy Goodell, Virginia Seay, Marianne Iacuzio, Larisa Lindsay, and Rev. Maeve Hammond.